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Monday, March 22, 2010

Crab Chowder

 This chowder is tasty and creamy without being too guilt-inducing. I  made a few changes to a recipe from Fresh and Simple Quick-Simmering Soups from Better Homes and Gardens. (I like the whole Fresh and Simple series, which includes Pasta Pronto, 5 O'Clock Grill and Super Suppers).

I added the potato, extra crab(I like to use 10 to 12 ounces rather than 6), sherry and sub part of the milk with fat-free "half and half."  We usually eat it with a crusty bread and a salad.

Crab Chowder
6 to 12 oz. crabmeat, preferably high-quality canned from seafood counter
1 medium zucchini, cut into julienne
1 medium sweet bell pepper (your choice color; i like red, yellow or orange), chopped or julienned
1 large potato, diced (skin on or off, your choice)
2 tbsp. margarine or butter
2 tbsp. flour
4 cups milk (I like to sub half with fat-free or low-fat "half and half")
2 tbsp. sliced green onion
1/2 tsp. bouquet garni seasoning
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 3-oz. package cream cheese or neufchatel, cut up
2 tbsp. sherry
2 tsp. snipped fresh thyme
Fresh thyme springs for garnish (optional)

In a medium saucepan cook zucchini, sweet pepper and potato in hot margarine or butter until crisp-tender. Add green onion and cook another minute. Stir in the flour. Add the milk, half and half, bouquet garni, salt and pepper. 

Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Add the cream cheese, sherry and thyme. Cook and stir until cheese melts. Stir in crabmeat and heat through. 

If desired, garnish each serving with additional thyme.

Serves 4.

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